‘Superiors whose arrest is sought over mining disaster are dead,’ prosecutors say
Miners wait outside a coal mine in Soma, western Turkey, early Wednesday, May 14, 2014. AP PhotoAn investigation has been launched into the mining disaster in Soma that has claimed at least 282 lives, Manisa’s chief public prosecutor, Durdu Kavak, has told daily Hürriyet, adding that a number of the superiors whose arrest is sought as part of the investigation “are dead along with the workers.”
“We will first determine what the problems are and then find those responsible. This could go from the shift supervisor to the company CEO and the company owner. Arrests will be made following the reports of inspectors,” Kavak said, adding that arrests were unlikely to be made for now.
“Some of the superiors whose arrests and testimonies are sought in a first stage are dead along with the workers,” he said.
The disaster has drawn attention to the conditions of workers in mines across the country. Many have denounced the authorities’ negligence for turning a blind high to the company’s practices, allegedly enhancing profits to the detriment of workers’ safety.
Some 6,500 workers are employed in the privately owned mine, which is also the largest mine in the region.
The mine’s operator, the Soma Coal Mining Company, had promoted the facility as a model for a high profit-low cost coal mining.